Re: [BCC Forum Post] jhcurtiss: BCC Dodgers?

Here are a few pictures of Itchen which show some details of her
Sunbrella dodger and bimini - none were taken specifically to show the
dodger but perhaps they will be useful none the same. The only thing
I would change would be to extend the sides of the bimini so that when
anchored on a rainy day the drip line of the bimini would extend
outside the cockpit coaming edges. Might be done with zip-on flaps and
two or three bungee cord stays run out to the lifelines, I think.

Regards, Scott

Itchen; BCC #73

On 2/5/06, BCC Forums wrote:

Author: jhcurtiss
Username: jhcurtiss
Subject: BCC Dodgers?
Forum: BCC Forum

I just purchased Dulcinea Hull #66. It has a dodger frame but no dodger. What are the best designs and who makes them? What can I expect to pay? The boat will be on Lake Superior, so having the ability to fully enclose the cockpit would be a concideration.

Attachment: Itchen_dodger1.jpg 145(kb)
Attachment: Itchen_dodger2 183.jpg 171(kb)
Attachment: Itchen_dodger3 031.jpg 262(kb)
Attachment: Itchen_dodger4 036.jpg 231(kb)
Attachment: Itchen_dodger80192.jpg 192(kb)

Scott: as one of my last remodeling tasks for Sentient i wish to add a dodger. Could you provide plans to the group at large for yours which is very appealing? I think the company or some of us collectively should settle on a dodger design that is functional and enhances the aesthetics of the boat.


Richard Smith/Sentient#63

I’d like to be helpful and it’s not out of the question for me to take
measurements of Itchen’s dodger, but it is a fairly complex shape and
would take some time to get right. Perhaps laid-out-flat photographs
of the side panels plus a few key dimensions would suffice for an
experienced yacht canvas shop. But, the top and front are one large
compound assemblage of several sewn-together pieces and “lofting” that
shape would be tricky. Getting the frame and zipper configuration
right would be another complication dependant on the actual dimensions
of a particular boat. Coaming shape and height, companionway hood
versus no hood, etc. Right now we are back home for a while and won’t
return to Itchen until the end of the month - we left her in Ft. Myers
last week. If nothing better turns up I can take some straight-on
photos after we get back to her.

However I believe that Itchen’s canvas and frame are VERY similar to
ones I have seen on other BCC’s and that makes we think it may be a
standard design and perhaps available from or through Sam L. Morse Co.
I never discussed it’s source with Mark Giegel ( the previous owner
of Itchen) but Mark may know who made it. My first suggestion would
be to ask Sumio. If it turns out to be a standard design, then it
might be a fairly small matter to modify it in whatever ways seemed
useful for a particular boat and owner.

If we did a lot of marina or mooring live-aboard time in cold rainy
weather I would look into designing a panel for the sternside of the
gallows frame plus some sort of wrap-around panels coming forward port
and starboard to weather cloths on the lifelines. We saw some bigger
live-aboard craft with fully enclosed cockpit wrapper-dodgers. Nice to
visit on a cold windy day but more complexity than we found necessary,
usingd Itchen the way we do. Even with some nights in the 20’s, 30’s
and days in the 40’s - 50’s she is nice and snug down below with the
heater going plus a terra cotta flower pot upended over one of the
stove burners and some music on the CD player and books to read, even
after two or three days waiting out a rainy cold front. The BCC
certainly passes my test of a proper cruising boat – that it still
seem a nice cozy place to be holed up in after two or three days at
anchor or dockside in nasty weather.


On 2/13/06, BCC Forums wrote:


Thanks for the info and the great pics. These will be very helpful. When I get mine done (with the side panels) I will post the pics as well. Itchen is a lovely boat. I’ve been admiring her pics for years.


nice, looks great, and thanks for the nice hi rez wallpaper too :wink:

The canvas work for Galatea and, I think, nearly all other recent BCCs, (ask Sumio for how long) has been done by Bob and Dolly Baltierra of Power Steering & Marine Specialties in Costa Mesa, California, under special agreement with Sam L. Morse Co.

We have been more than pleased with our dodger, helmsman awning, weather cloths, and hatch covers. Bob also made us an “at anchor” awning that works great. They really do quality work, but as with anything marine, it’s the final fit that makes the difference, and Bob is a master. After 5 years of Mexico, the South Pacific and the Tasman, our dodger is still taut and snug. I just wish that the fabric would last as long as his workmanship, and that I could get him to fit us a new dodger in Oz. We’ll have to see about that…

A few things I really like are the grab bar on the aft edge of the dodger, which really saves the fabric from being constantly handled; the port and starboard “vents” in the dodger just ahead of the stays’l winches that stop the back pressure which brings the diesel fumes into the cockpit; and the helmsman’s awning that snaps between the dodger and the boom gallows.

Their address and phone follow.
Address: 629 Terminal Way # 19, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone: (949) 548-6978


Tom Unruh

1 Like

Yes, as I surmised, that factory-subcontracted dodger sounds exactly
like Itchen’s dodger, a beautiful piece of work. The only
modification our’s has is a strip of soft leather across the “eyebrow”
at the the top forward edge which protects it from inevitable wear as
one goes forward of aft and graps it there for “one hand for yourself
and one for the ship”. We had our dodger restitched at modest cost
two years ago and gave it a silicone re-waterproofing treatment this
Fall and it still looks and performs beautifully. The stiches fail
long before the cloth – likewise I am thinking of getting new vinyl
to replace the increasingly cloudy old ones

On 2/14/06, BCC Forums wrote:

Power Steering & Marine Specialties
629 Terminal Way Suite 19
Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3626
Phone: (949) 548-6978

Sorry - no website or e-mail available.

1 Like


I have 4 years on my dodger from Power Steering. I sail Michigan and Huron out of Door County, WI and am most pleased with the quality and durability of Bob’s work. As Scott suggests, I am thinking of adding some wings to move the drip lines outboard of the coamings and will probably add some sort of center support to the sun/helmsman awning to limit puddling. Otherwise, we have endured rainy days underway and at anchor without much problem.

Best regards…Tom

Thanks Tom,

I will contact Power Steering.


I’d also like to vouch for the soundness of Bob Baltierra’s dodgers and other boat canvas work. Superb quality. In addition to her dodger, Zygote wears boomkin, bowsprit, and scuttle hatch covers crafted by Bob and Dolly - essential for brightwork protection in the tropics.

And note also (to follow Tom’s mention of the drip lines) that Bob designs the bib extension to the dodger with a view to adding side and back curtains so the cockpit can be fully enclosed. The side and back curtains run from the bib down to wind curtains (which are mounted on the lifelines and the aft rail).

On Zygote, we enjoy the full enclosure of the cockpit. A must in heavy tropical/monsoonal rain and in cold conditions. The extra cabin created by the side curtains is especially valuable at anchor or in a port.

Without the side curtains, the drip lines can indeed be a nuisance (ie rain runoff drips onto the cockpit seating) when at anchor or in a berth. But the benefit is that a pail can be strategically placed for water collection - not as efficient as the runoff collection on the hard dodger Roger designed and built for his BCC28-111 Nereus, but still useful.

And Bob - like most everyone associated directly or indirectly with a BCC - is very worth meeting just for himself. This is the guy who designed the front end of the C-5 Galaxy and held the patents for one of the early technologies for power steering for autos. Dolly, his spouse, does the sewing and is a gem. Their son carves neat surfboards, too.



For those who asked, I took some quick photos this morning and then sliced and sized them (suitably, I hope).

Attached are:

Zfullenclose.jpg (about 148 KB) taken from C finger of Marlin Marina and showing the rear and starboard side curtains (and how those curtains clip to the dodger bib and the wind curtains).

Zfullenclosefront.jpg (about 80 KB) showing the extra curtain that runs from the side curtain to the dodger (and clips around the jib topsail sheet). This was the first time I’ve attached that extra curtain, ie we’ve never found the need to use it (we’ve largely sailed in tropical conditions, not cold wet conditions).

We have sailed many hundreds (if not thousands) of nautical miles with the side and back curtains (we almost always sail with the wind curtains, which are made from Sunbrella, in place) attached in either their ‘ready’ condition or their ‘in use’ position.

The side and back curtains can be clipped to the wind curtains and then left to flop downwards inside the wind curtains (the ‘ready position’). When rain threatens, we can then quickly clip the side and back curtains to the dodger bib (the ‘in use’ position).

1 Like